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Club News

Focus On: Fulham

By Gerry Prewett

22 August 2017

When the draw for the Carabao Cup Second Round threw up an away game for Bristol Rovers at Fulham there was an immediate collective memory of the 3rd Round FA Cup tie in January 2008.

Memorably Rovers drew 2-2 at the Premiership team’s Craven Cottage and won the replay at the Mem on penalties.

Rovers will go into the tie with a boosted confidence after an exhilarating display at Bury on Saturday.

Despite losing two late goals to make the final scoreline close Rovers were rampant. Meanwhile with no win in the first four league games of the season with only two goals scored, one of them from the now injured Lucas Piazon and the other an own goal, and three conceded the West London team are not where they are expected to be.

Fulham went on a really strong finish to last season and many people were tipping them for an automatic promotion spot.

Slavisa Jokanovic’s outfit, with just two goals from three successive league, draws before losing 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Wednesday had the first chance to take the lead when Gary Hooper headed over from David Jones' cross.

Fulham fought back and almost led themselves when Stefan Johansen smashed a half-volley just over the bar.

But Steven Fletcher broke the deadlock just after the hour mark with a left-footed volley from Adam Reach's delivery.

Fulham Boss Slavisa Jokanovic said after the game, "Our lack of goals is a worry. It was the same story that we have had before. We were the better team but we couldn't put it in the net. We couldn't get the quality opportunities.

"We are missing a little bit of speed with the ball. That would make a difference and it's something we must work on. We need to find more quality with our finishing. We are a work in progress and I am still getting my message over.”

There have been a total of 62 games between Rovers and the west London team and surprisingly overs have slightly the better record, having 25 victories to Fulham’s 24.

The very first meeting took place on 22 September 1928 and the Cottagers thrashed Rovers 6-1, the following February Rovers gained some kind of revenge by winning 5-3 at Eastville.

Rovers must have dreaded visiting Craven Cottage as they lost the next two games there 6-2! In the first three games, they conceded 18 goals!

The highest aggregate score in games between the teams was recorded on 5 November 1955 and there were fireworks from the Rovers team as they ran out 5-3 winners.

In more recent times Rovers recorded a 4-0 in West London on 25 May 1989 as they were on their way to a Play-Off Final defeat to Port Vale.

In a remarkable night goals by Billy Clark, Ian Holloway, Denis Bailey and Andy Preece gave Rovers a convincing 4-0 victory.

The last League meetings between the teams took place in the 1998-99 season with Fulham winning both games, 1-0 in London and 3-2 at the Mem, where Paul Trollope was amongst the Fulham scorers.

News from the cottage is that Marcus Bettinelli could make his first appearance of the season having recovered from a hamstring injury and is in line to replace David Button.

Steven Sessegnon, Ibrahima Cisse, Sheyi Ojo and Marcelo Djalo could also feature as boss Jokanovic looks to rotate his squad. Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon is out with a broken leg.

 


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